Is Spiky Moss Good for Shrimp in My Aquarium Tank?

Spiky moss, also known as the “older brother of Christmas moss”, or Taxiphyllum Spiky, is a great addition to any aquarium. Especially, for one that houses shrimp.

With a simple but clumpy growth structure, Spiky moss creates the most beautiful yet safest environment for your shrimp to thrive in.

Is Spiky Moss Good for Shrimp
Is Spiky Moss Good for Shrimp

Table of Contents

Is Spiky Moss good for shrimp?

Simply answered, yes! Spiky moss is one of the best moss varieties for a shrimp aquarium. In addition to the benefits of nutrition, safety, and enhanced breeding behavior, Spiky moss also helps keep the shrimp engaged while balancing the water condition.

Is Spiky Moss good for all types of Shrimp?

There are many types of shrimp reared in aquariums. Some of them are Ghost shrimp, Red Cherry shrimp, and even Amano shrimp; and Spiky moss works well with them all!

With both Ghost shrimp and Amano shrimp growing to an average length of between 1.5 – 2 inches, Spiky moss is used mainly as a source of nourishment. For Cherry shrimp, however, it’s more useful as both a hideout as well as a nourishment provider.

Almost every variety of shrimp loves eating moss. Since shrimp are scavengers, they eat nearly anything, from fish food to worms to moss or even any smaller shrimp. For this reason, Spiky moss is a useful plant for your aquarium.

Do Cherry shrimps like Spiky Moss?

Yes! They love it!

Red Cherry shrimp are smaller in size than Ghost shrimp or Amano shrimp. Growing to a maximum length of about an inch, these shrimp love Spiky moss as it creates more pockets of shelter to hide away from larger shrimp and fish.

The diet of soft algae trapped within the Spiky moss clutters is the perfect way to get both food and safe shelter for Cherry shrimp, away from larger fish in your aquarium.

Do shrimp get stuck in Spiky Moss?

No, they do not. At least not the small ones.

Smaller shrimp like the Red Cherry shrimp or even Amano shrimp will not usually get stuck in Spiky moss. However, occasionally there can be an entanglement if many shrimp are living in an overgrown moss cluster.

Do Shrimps Eat Spiky Moss?

Shrimp are classified as scavengers, meaning they will eat almost anything that they can fit in their mouth!

Fish food, worms (dead or alive), snails, plants, any other smaller fish, or even other types of shrimp fry. These are just a few types of food that can be included in a shrimp’s daily diet.

Although your shrimp will feed on Spiky moss in the aquarium, they will only do so if they are not well fed. In that case, they will feed on a large portion of the moss growth. Especially the larger shrimp.

Will my shrimp die by eating Spiky Moss?

No. Your shrimp will not die because of eating Spiky moss. Since the diet of shrimp allows the intake of plants, and Spiky moss is a harmless toxin-free moss, no harm will be brought to your shrimp by eating Spiky moss.

Will shrimp eat algae in my Spiky Moss tank?

Absolutely! Shrimp love algae! No matter the type of shrimp, they will help themselves to a serving of algae.

Spiky moss is a great aquarium plant for trapping algae. The clustered and layered structure helps trap algae within, which can be scavenged by the shrimp.

Small shrimp, like the Red Cherry shrimp, eat algae in small amounts, so you can rear a lot of them in a medium-sized Spiky moss tank. In contrast, larger shrimp like the Amano shrimp, have a heavy diet and would need a larger Spiky moss growth to be kept in if only being fed algae.

Basic tips to plant Spiky Moss in my shrimp tank

  • Water Condition – Spiky moss grows well in an aquarium with a gentle water flow. This combined with added liquid fertilizers will speed up the growth of your Spiky moss. Shrimp tanks normally maintain a pH level of between 6.5 – 7.5. This is ideal for Spiky moss as it grows well in pH levels of 5 – 8. Regular water changes are also important to prevent uncontrollable algae growths.
  • CO2 – Although Spiky moss survives in low to moderate levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide), it grows much faster and healthier with added liquid CO2. However, increasing the levels of CO2 considerably can affect your shrimp.
  • Tank size – As Spiky moss grows in a cluster, a few cuttings grown spaced out from each other will be best. The tank size, however, depends on the type of shrimp you are willing to care for. While a smaller Spiky moss tank can accommodate a larger number of smaller shrimps such as Cherry shrimp, a much larger tank will be needed to care for half the number of larger shrimps such as Amano shrimp.
  • Lightning – Lighting periods of between 8 to 10 hours will be best to grow Spiky moss fast in a shrimp aquarium. For this, an LED or fluorescent lighting source will be excellent.

Does Spiky moss support the breeding of shrimp?

Spiky moss is perfect for breeding shrimp as it’s safe and harmless for baby shrimp. If grown on both the aquarium bed as well as on a vertical substrate, it will create a jungle of safety for the shrimp fry to grow in.

Such a cluster promotes breeding behavior, whereas a fully open tank can make shrimp shy away from mating. Spiky moss’s clumpy nature allows fry to stay safe, away from larger shrimp or fish that may feed on them.

Do shrimp lay eggs of Spiky moss?

Shrimp are not known to lay eggs as such. They carry the eggs on the underside of their body until the fry hatch. Once the baby fry are born, they then get protection by swimming within the Spiky moss growth.

Is shrimp poop harmful to Spiky Moss?

Not at all. Shrimp excretory matter is beneficial to plants, as it contains useful nutrients. It will be recycled by Spiky moss through nutrient absorption, promoting growth.

However, the level of waste recycling depends on the number of shrimp and the amount of Spiky moss in your tank. A smaller number of shrimp and a large amount of Spiky moss will help recycle a small quantity of waste matter, although larger amounts of excretion will have to be recycled manually.

How to enjoy shrimp with a Spiky moss aquarium?

The sharp visual contrast of colors is an attractive feature of including Spiky moss in your shrimp aquarium. If you are looking to breed shrimp, Spiky moss will be even more useful, as it improves the levels of physical activity of the shrimp.

The constant engagement with their surroundings, by swimming through the mesh of moss, will not only keep them occupied, but also creates the perfect scenery for you too!

Early warning! Make sure you prune your Spiky moss regularly. Rotting moss is never ideal for any shrimp or fish, while overgrown moss can limit movement and trap your shrimp. To avoid this, you can trim off excess moss leaves using a pair of scissors and tweezers.


If you feel skeptical about including Spiky moss in your shrimp tank, that is one worry you can relieve yourself of!

If you feel skeptical about including Spiky moss in your shrimp tank, that is one worry you can relieve yourself of!

All you need is a few cuttings of Spiky moss, some time to spare, and your shrimp aquarium will do great!

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.